Friday, October 28, 2022

Bold As A Lion (Proverbs 28:1)

 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. [Proverbs 28:1, ESV]

Full-disclosure: I love this verse. Even if one took the phrase out of context, “bold as a lion” is such an awesome way to describe somebody. Before I made the conscious effort to repent of my sin, I remember feeling the fear that comes with sin. When I knew that I had done something that I should not have done, there was always the thought in the back of my mind that one day I would be held accountable for my sins. The idea that one will be held accountable for his sins is an idea that is based in reality, but only to a certain extent. If one does not accept the gift of salvation that God offers to all, then he will face the consequences of his sin. If one accepts the gift of salvation (which I would highly recommend that he does), then he will be forgiven, and he will have eternal life. That being said, being a Christian does not mean that we can live in sin, nor does it mean that when we sin our sin is not noticed. God is righteous, so He hates sin. One’s soul is spared from eternal damnation if, and only if, he accepts Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior. God will absolutely punish us for our sin, but not in the way that our sin deserves to be punished. If God punished us according to our deeds, then we would all be going to Hell. The reality is that God has shown us such grace, such mercy, that He sent His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.

Before I recommitted my life to Christ, I was living a sinful lifestyle. I was not seeking God, nor was I seeking His righteousness. As a result, I felt anxious all the time. I would want to hide myself away, I would feel like I should not be around others, I would feel like an outsider, and I would have the fear that everybody who loved me would find out about my sin and end up hating me. I was not a murderer or anything, I was a normal person, with the normal types of sin that a normal person deals with. When I turned back to Christ, I remember how He gave me the strength to endure temptation, to seek His righteousness, and to lean into Him and His will for my life. I am not, nor have I ever been, perfect. However, I am always seeking God and His righteousness, and I am being sanctified by the Holy Spirit as I continue to follow His guidance.

As I sought Christ and His righteousness, I felt more courageous than ever before. Rather than wanting to hide myself away, I began to share the gospel with everybody, whenever and wherever I had the opportunity to do so. Instead of keeping to myself, I actively sought out opportunities to serve the Lord, meet new people, and show others the love of Christ. Rather than sitting around and hoping things change, I stood up, started writing more (I do most of my writing while I am sitting down, but you get my point), and began pushing back against the devil and his influence in my life. By the power of Christ, I took back my life, I took back my home, and I took back my future. After reclaiming my life, I sought God’s guidance again, asking Him for what I should be doing. It was through that time of prayer that I felt led to reacquire my domain name, write more, and publish what I write about. I do not write because I want to be famous (I have a long way to go if that is my goal), nor do I write to make money (I really do not earn much at all), I write to serve God. If God wants to give me a greater reach on the Internet, then He will make it happen. Regardless, I am serving the Lord, and serving the Lord only.

In conclusion, when I began to seek God and His righteousness, God gave me courage, bravery, and the drive to do what He had called me to do. When I was complacent with my sin, I was afraid, guilty, and I felt like a failure. It was only when God gave me a new heart that I began to feel courageous.

With all that in mind, let us examine the verse that this essay is about:

“The wicked flee when no one pursues,...”

This part of the verse is describing the exact feeling that I had when I was not seeking the Lord. I was guilty, afraid, and unsure of what to do with myself. Without being threatened, I was afraid. My heart had been weighed down by guilt, weighed down by grief, and weighed down by shame. The weight on my heart prevented me from serving the Lord, prevented me from living a life that is filled with the joy of the Lord, and prevented me from reaching my full potential. There is a paranoia that comes with living a life of wickedness, and that paranoia causes the wicked to flee, despite not being pursued.

“...but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

This part of the verse describes the other feeling that I described in the introduction to this essay. When I turned back to Christ, when I sought Him, when I sought His righteousness, the aforementioned weight on my heart had been taken away, and I was able to stand up and be confident in my faith, in the righteousness of Christ, and of the sufficiency of His forgiveness. Christ paid the price for my sin when He was crucified, so I have no reason to feel guilt or shame. If I have sought the Lord’s forgiveness, if I have repented, then I should not feel guilty. God has forgiven me, and I am able to be as bold as a lion. Through the power of Christ, each of us can be as bold as a lion.

Boldness means more than just being at peace, boldness means that one is able to stand his ground, to be confident in his faith, and to be willing to defend himself. Boldness is what gives us the ability to resist the accusations of the devil, and it is boldness that gives us the ability to fight against the sin of this world. Christ empowers us to serve Him, but without Him, we are left with nothing but fear and paranoia.

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